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Goodbye to Winter Park? Vikings announce purchase of Eagan property

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The Minnesota Vikings are another step closer to saying goodbye to their headquarters of the last 35 years.

On Tuesday the team announced it has finalized its purchase of the former Northwest Airlines headquarters property at the intersection of Dodd Road and Lone Oak Parkway in Eagan. They bought the site from Opportunity Partners Fund IV, which is an investment fund affiliated with The Excelsior Group.

"We continue to believe this 185-acre site offers many positive attributes, including space and flexibility, proximity to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as the airport, and an opportunity to transform a vacant piece of property for the benefit of the community and the region," said Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf in a statement released through the team.

The Vikings have outgrown their current facility Winter Park, built in 1981. The new site could give the team a chance to centralize operations, which are now scattered throughout two buildings in Eden Prairie and one in downtown Minneapolis.

"While completing this purchase is the next step in the potential relocation of the team's headquarters and training facility, several steps remain before a conclusion is reached," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf.

The team plans to build a 10,000-seat stadium on the site, which could be used for training camp if the Vikings do eventually decide not to travel to Mankato each summer.

The team received unanimous support from the Eagan City Council to rezone the land for the multi-use project, in October. In comments before the vote, the Star Tribune notes that Vikings Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Warren, and chief financial officer, Steve Poppen, described what the team envisions as a "work, live, play" development.

While specific details of the plan have not been made public the team would use about 40 acres of the land, including the stadium.

According to ESPN's Ben Goessling, the team would plan to develop the remainder of the property in stages. The development could include a hotel and conference center, retail space and housing.

Goessling notes that another possibility could be the establishment of a team hall of fame in Eagan, and the stadium could also feature some high school football matchups in the fall.

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